Community Solar advocates have a new way to connect and share information. On Facebook, search for “Michigan Community Solar”, like the page, and begin sharing. Michigan Community Solar provides up to date information on new and developing policies that affect community solar in Michigan and ongoing efforts to start and operate community solar projects in Michigan.
GLREA has a new speakers’ bureau that can provide presenters on a variety of topics – Intro to Solar Energy, Intro to Wind Energy, Community Solar, Geothermal Energy, State Energy Policies, Electric Vehicles, and more. If interested, send a note to email@example.com.
GLREA is the state chapter of the American Solar Energy Society which will have its annual conference, Solar 2015, at Penn State on July 28-30. The conference is a great opportunity to meet solar advocates and practitioners from other states.
Inovateus Solar (www.inovateus.com) makes solar equipment available to solar installers all across the country. They offer solar panels, inverters, and balance of system components. Also available are pre-engineered solar kits to fit a wide variety of systems. Whether you are looking for 1KW or 1MW, Inovateus Solar is your one stop shop solution. For new installers, they have valuable learning and educational tools – quarterly training events, youtube videos, and links to basics of solar sites. Check out their growing list of partners. They believe in strong partnerships and long term relationships as a key to success. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries or quotes.
DTE Energy has announced plans to develop its largest solar project, generating up to 50 MW. The new project is expected to be in SE Michigan and online by the end of next year. DTE operates more than 20 solar projects in the state. DTE’s largest project so far, at Domino’s Farms east of Ann Arbor, is expected to be completed by the end of the year and generate just over 1 MW. DTE is asking for bids for its new project, which would be 5 to 50 megawatts, by July 22. More details.
University of Michigan poll has found that a strong majority (74%) of Americans (every race, income and education level, and religious and political affiliation) support state renewable energy mandates. A majority of Americans surveyed said they’d be willing to spend an extra $25 per year for more renewable energy—a number which exceeds the average $15 per year cost premium of current programs. More details.
First Annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards will be given to a person or business that represents the best in energy efficiency. Nominations must be submitted by July 31.
DTE Energy plans to install 7 solar-powered trash compactors and recycling units near its headquarters in downtown Detroit. The Bigbelly units, expected to arrive this summer, collect and compact trash on site and also gather aluminum and plastic containers for recycling. More details.
Nearly 90% of surveyed residents and businesses want community solar in Lansing and East Lansing. Interested? You can sign up for more details at micommunitysolar.org
Consumers Energy has a new Solar Gardens (community solar) Program and customers can express interest at their web page. More details.
Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved tariffs reflecting revised cost allocations for DTE and Consumers Energy as a result of Public Act 169 of 2014. The intent of the law is to change rates and make them fairer based on cost of service. Effective July 1, DTE electric primary customers will pay approximately 4.7% less, secondary customers will pay approximately 0.3% less, and residential customers will pay approximately 3.7% more. Effective Dec. 1, Consumers Energy electric primary customers will pay approximately 4.4% less, commercial and industrial secondary customers will pay approximately 0.3% less; and residential customers will increase by about 3.2%. The MPSC also directed the utilities to make time-of-use (TOU) rates available to customers.
California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission have launched a residential Zero Net Energy Action Plan to build a self-sustaining market for all new homes to be net-zero energy by 2020. The short term focus is the building envelope, including better insulation and framing techniques. Currently, ZNE homes account for less than 1% of new homes built in California. But beginning in 2017, California expects to see upward of 10,000 new homes that are net-zero. By 2020, the hope is that the state’s Codes and Standards board will regulate ZNE homes. More details.
100 Floating Wind Turbines have been proposed for the Hawaiian island of Oahu by Alpha Wind Energy, based in Denmark. The 400 MW project could supply about a third of the island’s load. More details.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed a law that mandates state utilities to procure 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, making Hawaii the first U.S. state to require 100%. H.B.623 increases Hawaii’s renewable portfolio standard to 30% by 2020; 70% by 2040; and 100% by 2045. More details.
GE’s New ecoROTR is a dome-shaped attachment that allows a wind turbine to capture more wind energy. The dome-shaped addition, affixed to the center of the turbine, deflects wind that would have otherwise passed right through the blades. The dome channels that air outward to the blades, increasing performance by 3%. More details.
Biggest Floating Wind Turbine on Earth (620-ft, 7 MW) is 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is built to stand against winds nearly 200 mph and is part of a wind farm that will include three turbines total. More details.
Average Cost of developing wind projects will fall by 32% and the cost of PV projects will fall by 48% by 2040 according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Within a decade, wind will become “the least-cost option almost universally.” And by 2030, solar will become the cheapest resource. Renewable energy technologies including wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal will account for 46% of generation by 2040. Wind and solar alone will account for 30% of global generation. More details.
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s July membership meeting is a luncheon program on sustainability issues at the region’s largest health care provider and the launch of Grand Rapids’ first commercial bike-share program. Monday, July 13 at Grand Valley State University’s new Seidman Center from 12 to 2 pm. RSVP here.
NE Ohio Solar Conference sponsored by Green Energy Ohio will be held July 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Motocars Honda, 2953 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights. The Solar Canopy there is the largest single covered solar structure at any dealership in the country. The conference will include expert speakers, green trade show, and Young Professionals Reception. Registration at www.greenenergyoh.org
Solar 2015 with the theme “Expanding Horizons: Shaping the New Energy Economy” is sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society and will be held at Penn State on July 28-30.
Solar PV Entry Level Training will be held on August 24-28, 8 am – 5 pm at Northwestern Michigan College. This one week intensive course prepares attendees for the NABCEP exam. Cost is $599. For details, call 231-995-1701.
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 10th Annual Sustainability Conference will be held on October 9 at Peoples Church in East Lansing. The conference will provide attendees with actionable information about sustainability, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. More details.
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